Free Leaf

"Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold..."

Name:
Location: Falls Church, Virginia, United States

I have a lot more questions than answers, but I just keep asking. I constantly want to leave, but somehow manage to stay. I am both perfectly happy and completely miserable because of it. I think I am misunderstood but that could just be a huge misunderstanding, either way I guess the best way to put it is, "I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong."

4.29.2006

The puppet sex alone was worth it...

...Or impressions of my trip to South Florida

My plan for south Florida was to have a nice chill week of lying out and resting up before heading back to work. How come that never seems to happen? Instead of relaxing and sleeping in then sitting at the pool or at the beach I end up running all over the place, putting grills together and waking up early every morning. I of course don’t really help the rest process since I went out every night I was down there. As a matter of fact the title of this post came from a conversation I was having with the lovely and talented Nicole at the Mai-Kai over a couple Barrels o’Rum. And no matter how much you keep in touch with your old friends it’s impossible to recreate those drunken conservations on a Tuesday night from long distance. After this trip I have come to the conclusion that South Florida is a lot dirtier than I remember and if it weren’t for the beach no one would want to live there. But the beach is really nice and the friends I have there are great, even if I don’t see myself ever going back for longer than a week. So, for now I will head home and look forward to the next time I can sit down with these people over a beer and have great conversations that might eventually lead to puppet sex.

Other things I picked up on vacation:

- Found a new blog I like to read here: Hot Chicks with Douchebags.

- Got a new camera, very useful and fun given all the traveling I do.

- When seeing people from your past take advantage of how they remember you whether you are that way anymore or not.

- When nurses begin singing bad karaoke songs on a Monday night make one pass to see if they are attractive, if they aren’t find another bar.

- And finally, no matter how slow a Wednesday night gets don’t fall for free drinks at a male (or is it a female?) strip club.

4.24.2006

How's my driving?

The last few days have felt like an eternity. Full of motion and activity and very little time for sleep so here is the full update on my weekend.

Friday: After 5 ½ hours of sleep I hit the road out of VA at about 6 am. For the next ten hours I was in my car, mostly on 95 S trying to keep the cruise control just below 15 over the speed limit. With the Ipod plugged into the car the drive was a piece of cake up until about the last hour where highway hypnosis and a serious case of exhaustion started getting to me. But I did make it and after about ten hours and a 25 degree change in the weather I stepped out of my car in Jacksonville to the humidity and heat that I did not miss at all. Friday night I caught up with two friends from college and grabbed a few drinks at a bar on Jax beach, bars like this are one of the things I miss about Florida, the bar we went to was like a back deck at someone’s house with a pool to the right and the ocean just steps away. The smell and the sound alone makes for a great atmosphere before you add in the backyard feel of the bar itself. Still, the night was short and I had a lot to do the next day so my friends and I parted ways until the next time we can get together.


Saturday: Another early morning was spent in my car. This time I left Jacksonville around 8 am to head to Gainesville for a day on campus getting National Champions gear and checking out the Spring football game. First stop that morning was at Dunkin Donuts before taking the 10 W to 301, then following that through speed traps all the way to Gainesville. Once in Gainesville I pulled up to the Campus bookstore and wandered around looking for any Gator stuff I could find, this was actually the first time I bought a shirt that said basketball on it instead of Football. After killing about an hour there I headed over to my old Fraternity house to see how crappy the place looked and meet up with another friend who also in town for the day. Had a couple of beers then walked around University Ave. and headed over to the stadium to watch one of our Fraternity brothers play in the All-Star Flag Football game in the Swamp. After the Flag football game we watched warm-ups then the first half of the Orange and Blue game before a rain delay got me to head out of town.

I left Gainesville a little earlier than expected but the weather slowed me down enough that I still didn’t reach Ft. Lauderdale until after 8 pm. I pulled up to my friends house, grabbed a beer, skipped dinner, jumped in the shower and within a few hours and a few drinks we were back out the door and on the way to a party. This was the first house party I had been to in years and it wasn’t like any of the ones I remembered from high school, thrown at an empty rental property the house had basically no furniture but did have three bartenders and an open bar, as well as a hookah room. I am not sure if it was not eating or the Vodka but I was pretty drunk and telling ridiculous (because not a word of it was true) stories to people I had never met before. I really wanted to eat after the party but at 5 am we decided to just go home and go to bed. I got a solid 3 hours of sleep that night.

Sunday: I guess a lot of what happened on Saturday night really was Sunday morning but there wasn’t much to tell of Sunday, I lounged around most of the day, got a Publix sub and waited to go to dinner with the family. I met up with my mom and grandma before heading over to my aunt’s place for dinner. When we got there we got to meet up with my aunt and uncle, my uncle’s brother and his wife, my cousin who lives in Miami and my other cousin from Minnesota who was in town with his wife and son. Dinner was good and seeing the family is great, I actually think I want kids now just so I have an excuse to watch more cartoons than I already do. After dinner I headed back home and got some much needed sleep.


Monday: Sleep was great until I was woken up by whining dogs at 7 am today. I fought the whining for about a half hour before getting up and having coffee and Marians bagels. I followed that up with some yoga style stretching and am getting ready to head out to the pool with my cousin and his family. I have a feeling vacation is going to be very tiring.

4.20.2006

It Takes a Village

Before I get where I am going here is some insight into how I made it to the point of writing this. I would have to go back 20 years to tell the whole story but that will take too long so I will just start on Sunday. On Sunday, the White House held their annual Easter egg hunt, protesting at that event were Gay and Lesbian couples. That event caused quite the uproar on talk radio and the internet. I never joined the discussion but I did hear one person say that no matter how much a homosexual couple may love and care for a child they can never fully nurture a child, they actually extended that very thought to divorced families. And that is where I became an advocate for gay rights, now I don’t have any gay friends that I know of, nor do I know any gay parents but I am a child of divorce and if a child is lucky enough to be adopted by two mothers like my own I can promise you that they will be a stellar individual. So, while I can not speak for gay parents directly I can speak on the ability of one parent to nurture children without help from a parent of the opposite sex. I will not try to defend everything about the homosexual lifestyle nor do I feel I can make a judgment on all of the issues facing that community at this time, but I do not doubt that they can be just as good at parenting, and possibly better in some cases, than the heterosexual community.

With that out of the way and since this is supposed to be about me why don’t I give some major props to my mom and my well adjusted and lovely dysfunctional family? Saying I am a child of divorce is almost too nice of a term for my father, what he did was much closer to abandonment. My parents got divorced when I was 4, and my sisters were still babies. Since then I only remember seeing my dad less than a handful of times and only remember having conversations with him a few more. He rarely paid child support and he might have covered our health insurance for 2 out of the 20 some years he was responsible for it. And since he didn’t even see me grow up he refused to believe it was me who wrote the letter in which I told him to fuck off and stop wasting my time. To me the whole situation was ridiculous anyway, my father was never at a single event in my life, no sports or school plays, nothing, he wasn’t even invited to my Bar Mitzvah where I was very impressive in my opinion. So, I saw no reason to have an adult relationship with someone who has no responsibility for the person I have become. I can’t say what my life would have been like with him in it, divorced or not, but I can say that I feel fortunate for the life I have lived and the people who are in it.

The saying that it takes a village to raise a child was maybe never truer than in my case. Of course, the battle started at home and my mom was spectacular the entire time, from little league to graduation she always made it work. I could go on and on for days about the sacrifices she made to get three kids through high school and her second about to graduate from college. If I did it all on memory I could probably write one thing a day for years and that’s not counting my sisters thoughts on the matter. She really was and continues to be amazing and maybe I will start dedicating posts to her in the future but this isn’t just about her, its about all the people who have helped me become a mostly well adjusted person. You see, even though my mom was amazing she couldn’t do it alone. There were teachers and coaches and camp counselors and uncles and cousins and my Grandparents and friends. It was my uncle who taught me to how to drive when my mom and I started fighting; he also bought me my Bar Mitzvah suit. My Grandparents let me stay at their house during the summer and my Grandpa took me to baseball camp everyday then let me swim in their pool every afternoon while my Grandma made my meals. There were my mom’s cousins who always lent a hand when we needed it and helped me when I wanted to go to school in Israel. And my teacher there, Yossi Katz, who helped me realize the love I have for my people and my country. And even before all that there were camp counselors who allowed me to be a normal kid and coaches who pushed me to be better. And there were my little sisters whose accomplishments somehow mean more to me than my own. Who I tried not to be too overbearing with but sometimes was that over protective big brother. And it all comes back to one person, my mom, who made it possible for all of those people to make positive impressions on my life. So you see it does take a special person to be a parent, and that is not unique to any family structure.

4.17.2006

How Did It Get So Late So Soon?

How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before
it's afternoon.
December is here before it's June.
My goodness how the
time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?

- Dr. Seuss


I can’t believe how busy I have been lately, it seems that time has just been flying by. And I haven’t even really been doing anything. Since I wrote last I have had people over for dinner on Friday and Sunday while lying low pretty much all day Saturday. I also did a bunch of little things that I needed to get done before I go on vacation on Friday, like file my taxes, pay my car insurance and refill my drugs (the legal kind).

I am looking forward to being in Florida for ten days to close out the month then hopefully setting up some nice trips for May as well. I am planning on being all over the Sunshine state, if you can’t take advantage of friends and relatives for free places to stay with ocean views who can you? I will be on Jax beach Friday night with my doppelganger and former college roommate, Gainesville for the UF Spring game on Saturday, then down in Ft. Laud that night, followed by a few nights on South Beach with my cousin and finishing up in Tally at my little sisters graduation before heading back to Jacksonville.

Random notes:

Just in case you were wondering I am completely anti-ink, hate tattoos, would never have one and don’t normally like girls that have them either, although I don’t think it would be a deal breaker, but if you have 5 or more I am pretty sure you aren’t the girl for me. The reason I bring this up is because a girl friend of mine just told me she was planning on getting her fifth tattoo. I also thought about this topic because I have an unexplainable addiction to Miami Ink, that show is great television.

And, in another showing that women are brilliant I give you this. The reason I think they are brilliant is because I think they can pull this off way better than men could. So mark your calendars for next year, because you just missed it. Or if you are as smart as I think most of you are find the excuse to do it whenever you want. So you know I don’t bake.

4.13.2006

Pesach

While my family gathered for Passover Seder in South Florida I was taking on the task of hosting my first Seder alone. I was close to being overwhelmed by it at times and when all the food was finally ready I was completely beat. If not for the experience of last year when my roommate and I made Seder dinner together I would not have been able to do it. So here is what I made:

Brisket (My Aunt’s recipe)

Baked Chicken

Tzimmus

Charoset

Noodle Kugel

Apple Matzo Kugel

Matzo Ball Soup

To do all that I actually had to start cooking on Tuesday night, which is asking a lot of me since I only started cooking a few years ago. But, it all came out pretty well and I think everyone enjoyed it. They all say they did and since most of the food is gone I guess I can believe them. Actually, we filled up on the meal and left no room for the great desserts that were brought by Courtney and Shannon. For two shiksas they did an amazing job cooking with Kosher for Passover products even if there recipes came from the Food Network.

My Seder may have been the only one in America where the Jews were outnumbered by non-Jews two to one. So, in fairness to them we did the cliff notes version of the Passover Story, well that and everyone watched the new Ten Commandments on ABC and did some online research about the holiday. I really appreciate them taking such an interest in my religion, something I can’t say I do for them, and in the spirit of Passover I tried to answer all of their questions. In between the questions we said the blessings and drank a lot of wine before finally eating the great meal I prepared. After eating we continued drinking and eating dessert and I even got people to search for the Afikomen, which led to a near fight in the kitchen that included biting. During the search I watched my Christian friends go through all the cabinets in the house like I used to do when I was in elementary school, it was very entertaining and they enjoyed it so much they have vowed to paint and hide Easter eggs this weekend. And in the spirit of friendship that goes beyond anyone’s personal faith I will be eating my first Easter meal this weekend, a meal normally marked by ham (which I don’t eat) that will instead feature a turkey and will have non-Chametz items for me. I am really looking forward to it, mostly because it’s a meal I wont have to cook.

Chag Sameach (Happy Holidays)

4.09.2006

Rehab

In Las Vegas every night is a party, actually scratch that, Monday and Tuesday are kinda slow but you get the point. I love Vegas, I miss Vegas and nothing I do outside of Vegas ever seems to compare to what I do there, which is why I try to go twice a year. So, on Sundays like today when I am preparing for my weekend Rehab session I think back to Sundays at Hard Rock Las Vegas. There may not be a better place in America to recover from a week of partying. Every Sunday the Hard Rock pool opens up for Rehab. Seriously, if you ever make it to Vegas stay the extra day to enjoy it, or if you live in Vegas make it a point to check it out, season passes run about $1200 for you and 2 guests.

(Pic thanks to Heather)

Doesn’t that look like the place to recover on a Sunday with a drink in your hand?

It’s certainly better than this:

Sure it’s a necessary evil and I would really avoid it if I could, but we all need our little rehabs to get back up for the game. For me, it’s lifting some weights, doing a little cardio and then sweating out any of the alcohol left in the sauna. Compared to that I will take a desert oasis or a beach and a Bloody Mary any day.

4.06.2006

Catch My Disease


“My head is a box filled with nothing and that’s the way I like it.”


I heard that line today when I was working out and I really could not think of a better way to describe how I have felt this week. But before I get to that, go buy Ben Lee’s new CD, check out his website and try to catch a live show, its rare that I pimp musicians or advocate buying music but this guy is likeable and pretty talented, you can check out some of his live music on the Live Music Archive under links on my page. Anyway, back to the point, I am totally drained from the Final Four, I would love to explain it or describe it but there is nothing that I can say that will make a difference, instead I will just put up a picture and let you judge from the smiles.

David is too cool to smile, but he is happy, trust me. And really who wouldn’t be?

Only haters can be mad at what happened Monday night. Anyway, the euphoria of Florida’s first National Championship and the amount of energy I used up celebrating has completely erased my mind. Hopefully, I will get some much needed rest over the next few days and get back to making sense before I get fired.

4.04.2006

National Champions














4.03.2006

My mind and my voice are on hiatus

As I predicted the weekend turned out to be just what I needed to get over the boredom that was last week. Actually, it was too good, since I have lost the ability to speak and forming coherent thoughts has been quite a challenge. That's actually why I didn't post my recap yesterday, more importantly though I tried speaking again this morning and I sound terrible, I really need my voice for tonight. It wasn't long ago that Monday night out was a tradition, actually every night out was pretty standard now I am a weekend person who throws in a few week night outings to break up the routine, tonight will be one of those nights. Here is how we got here and why I have no voice.


This whole journey leading up to tonight began on March 24 when I left work early to watch the Gators play the Hoyas at a Georgetown bar. On that day we knew we would be outnumbered and so began the drinking and the shouting and the cheering, the near fighting and attempted girl stealing, as well as the successful theft of many pitchers. Gators win, great night, dance home, make that stumble home, rest then repeat. Sunday night comes, not your standard drinking day, but we drink and we watch and we cheer, less Villanova fans, less fighting, no theft. But that does bring me to this past weekend where it set up the scene nicely. The Gators play at 6:07 Saturday, early enough that going out Friday night would be a waste unless you had a totally shitty week and have an excuse (a peripheral friends birthday) to go out. This leads to the consumption of way too much liquor, eventually being cut off at the bar (not my fault actually, my roommates got cut off and I got lumped in with them), which somehow led to eating falafel on the metro home. After all that I had to get up early for the game on Saturday, what can be said about Saturday night. Here it is in rapid fire: game, food, lots of beer, car bombs, shots, Ed doing push ups at the bar for free drinks, Gators win, our new friends E-dub(the bartender) Greg, James and Tiffany(Mason fans), Ed calling someone's girlfriend white trash then having drinks with them and asking them to slap him in the face, pictures of cherry blossoms, a girl from LSU who went to Alabama, UCLA basketball fans who went to UCSB and didn't know the difference between Florida and Florida State, The Big Hunt where taking a nap is perfectly acceptable, sleeping on the metro home and surviving all of that. I am tired just typing it.


Sunday was spent in recovery, I avoided speaking hoping to rest my voice for tonight, it hasn't helped. My voice is still gone but I did enjoy the silence of Sunday, I watched King Kong, a movie 2 hours too long and made it to the gym. Then fell asleep early to the thoughts of a Gator National Championship. I have also blocked off the entire morning tomorrow at work so no one can bother me, meaning I can potentially sleep until 11 am. I am gonna go gargle some salt water and drink some tea and try to find what I have lost.